Months ago, when the first rumbles began about Borders possibly filing for bankruptcy, I predicted that we were seeing the beginning of the end for the bookseller. I’d hoped I was wrong. I love bookstores and think there is still a place for then. But mismanagement and failure to adapt to changing times and technology have combined, it seems, to seal the fate of one of the largest chains in the U.S. After creditors raised concerns about the proposed deal between Borders and BB Brands, the deal has apparently fallen through and the bankruptcy court has ruled that the liquidation sale will go forward. This is a no-win situation for everyone involved — Borders and its employees, its creditors and, most of all, the book buying public. But it isn’t a done deal — yet. There is still the possibility that BB Brands, or someone else, will emerge as the stalking horse prior to the deadline Sunday. For more information, check out this article from Publishers Weekly.
At the same time we learn about the very real possibility of Borders being forced to liquidate their remaining stores comes news that bookstore sales were up in May. The 1.5% increase comes on the heels of April’s 1.8% increase in sales. Now, before everyone gets too excited about these figures, keep in mind that these sales included the going out of business sales at a number of Borders stores and also that these figures are for ALL sales from stores that earn at least 50% from the sale of books. The exact figures for book sales should be available shortly. I’ll report on them when they are. Still, increased profita, from whatever source, are good for bookstores and for their customers.
Now for the news from NRP. We are closing in on our first anniversary. Because we have all been working seven days a week for a lot longer than that, the powers that be decided we needed some down time earlier this month. Now we are back with recharged batteries and ready to hit the ground running. That means a couple of things. First, the blog will return to three days a week — more when needed. Second, slush is being read and reports will be going out over the next few weeks. I know there are two or three titles that were submitted in April that we haven’t reported back on yet and that is because they are with our editorial board for further consideration. We will be in contact with those authors in the next few days.
But most importantly, it means you will see a flurry of new titles being released over the next week. Come August, we will be back to our twice a month releases.
Of course, with our first anniversary knocking on the door, we have to figure out some sort of way to celebrate. After all, who doesn’t like a party, even a virtual one. So keep checking back for details.